Having craftsmen in the house for weeks, it’s like get a taste of hell. I long for every next weekend and when it comes, the silence spreads out in my rooms and suck up all air in deep breaths leaving me empty and disoriented. What am I doing here in these rooms, in this city, in this life – such a thought can suddenly and unwanted beat me… Moreover I’m every day stuck with an itchy nagging feeling I’m not make a use of my days as I should (“according to whom?” a friend asked). Days and weeks runs off – it always “Monday again” or “Friday again” and I haven’t done much more the past days than eat, sleep and take a shit. I could at least have read a decent book! But no… A youngster wrote me “What’s the meaning, I don’t understand?” I wrote back “there is no meaning, nothing to understand”. But I’m not sure about that, it might be me – having no key.
I can now in this particular moment hear the floor-layer loosen the laminate flooring in the apartment on the other side of my ceiling. And I’m just waiting for those bad hours coming next when he wants to sharpen the basis for the new carpet with his thunderous grinding machine. He left me yesterday saying, “Now I’m done with yours and you can move back your things whenever you feel like it”. While he worked in my home I was stunned someone could have such an unpleasant work day after day, week after week, year after year – and this guy is still young with many more working years to come. But now on a certain distance I envy him – he walks into rundown and worn rooms and rip up the old shit, smooths out any imperfections and put on a new surface, and then he looks at his work and says “Well, it looks pretty good, right!” And it does – it’s like I’ve got a brand new room! (But it seems as I now have less things than before, and my sofa and TV looks misplaced and outdated). The craftsman left me with a faint smile for his next customer and next project, and this little smile was like a revealing glimpse from an undercover ancient Greek god visiting the mortals, dressed in work wear… (What was the thrill with us mortals the Greek gods found so attractive they had to visit us now and then?)
I would like to do tangible things, like a craftsman! But I guess everyone wants that. I’m very often scared sometimes increasing into anxiety “for no reason at all”. I ask myself – may my day be just a pastime to avoid being confronted with what is essential in life? Am I wasting my days (with nonsense), like if I’m immortal? Am I too coward to do any of value – not wanting to stick out in front of others – but hold back what I truly am? But is not the question itself to see oneself as superior to others? (The worst sin a Scandinavian like me can commit.)
After a lifetime I don’t know much. No, really! But I know youngsters looks cocksure on the outside and have a shocking chaos of fragmentation and uncertainty on the inside. Elderly can on their outside appears to be full of reservations and a bit awkward – but they have all with time gained a solid core on the inside of either well-handled empirical knowing or a complete disaster of stupidity. And I know my neighbour’s floor is my ceiling. And vice versa. When we meet in the staircase we say hello.